Clairton continues to roll along
It was not easy at first, but Clairton continues to make history.
Overcoming themselves and a scrappy Carlynton squad, the Bears shook off their sluggishness and eventually cruised to a 41-0 win Friday at Neil C. Brown Stadium.
By virtue of their second consecutive shutout, Clairton extended the longest winning streak in the country to 65.
“We can get better,” said Bears coach Tom Nola. “We're young and still making too many mistakes.”
Carlynton (0-2) made Clairton (2-0) work hard early and seemed to have the Bears trouble. But the Bears' speed and athleticism was too much.
It took the Bears 11 plays to march 80 yards on their opening possession. Aaron Matthews capped the drive with a 7-yard run off a direct snap. Lamont Wade added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Carlynton took the ensuing kickoff and held the ball for the remainder of the quarter. The Cougars moved 52 yards in 16 plays. The Bears had trouble early containing running back Isiah Canton. But the Bears' defense stiffened, forcing a punt after Freddie McKissick fumbled the snap on third-and-long.
“That fumbled snap hurt,” said Cougars coach Terry George. “We knew we could move the ball on them coming in. But they packed it in up front and did a good job adjusting.”
Canton finished with 81 yards on 21 carries. But the Bears' defense stepped up when it had to, sacking Carlynton's quarterbacks six times. Carlito Spence bagging three himself.
Clairton dropped the hammer in the second quarter by scoring three times. Lamont Wade topped an 84-yard drive by racing 10 yards around left end into the end zone. Spence set up another score when he blocked a Carlynton punt three minutes later. Ryan Williams then hit Harrison Dreher for a 14 yard score, pushing the Bears lead to 23-0 late in the second.
Wade struck again on Clairton's next possession. The freshman running back/defensive back faked a reverse handoff and raced past a stunned Cougars defense for a 65 yard score and a 29-0 halftime lead.
“He is very coachable, and he listens to everything we tell him,” Nola said. “He is going to be a great one for us down the line. He is very good now.”
Wade put the capper on his night when he intercepted a Kevin Schuster pass and took it 83 yards to pay dirt. The two-point pass attempt failed, leaving the lead 35-0.
Clairton ended the scoring midway through the fourth when JoJuan Bray ran 72 yards into the end zone.
“They're a different team, but still they're awfully good,” George said.
Clairton will take to the road next week for a Friday night affair at California.
“We're going to take a look at the film and make some adjustments for sure,” Nola said. “I'm pleased with the win, but we need to get better and eliminate the mistakes and penalties.”
David Whipkey is a freelance writer.